Rutgers basketball now has another opening on the roster, according to a report from Verbal Commits, as they reported sophomore wing Jonathan Laurent is leaving the program on Saturday afternoon.
Rutgers F Jonathan Laurent (SO) is leaving the program. https://t.co/NlNsSnBPcI— Verbal Commits (@VerbalCommits) April 15, 2017
A source confirmed this report, but nothing official has been announced by Laurent or Rutgers as of yet.
Laurent’s production decreased in his second season at Rutgers and first under new head coach Steve Pikiell. After averaging 8.1 points and 5.1 rebounds in 24+ minutes per game as a freshman, he only averaged 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds in just 13 minutes per contest.
This now leaves Rutgers with two open scholarships for next season and just one true wing player in Issa Thiam. Fellow freshman Eugene Omoruyi can play the wing as well, but is better suited playing in the paint. For a program that is still in major rebuilding mode as they enter Pikiell’s second year, who they add this offseason is a huge question mark right now. However, it also provides them a great opportunity to add two impact players that they want for next season.
This morning, I posted updates on transfer possibilities, including new target Peter Kiss, who is transferring from Quinnipiac. Kiss is reportedly visiting Rutgers next weekend. He would be a sit-out transfer that would have three years of eligibility remaining. With an additional roster spot now open, it allows Pikiell more flexibility in taking a sit-out transfer while still being able to add a player who can play right away next season. Of course, Rutgers could also add two players through the grad transfer market or from the class of 2017 that would be able to suit up next season.
Either way, Laurent is leaving Rutgers after a promising freshman campaign that saw him take a significant step back this past season. The staff’s renewed focus on defense asking him to adjust his role never developed the way both sides wished it had. Best of luck to him in the rest of his career.
For more updates on recruiting, click here.